Friday, February 10, 2012

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

If you like thick, soft, buttery sugar cookies, then these are for you. These cookies are like the kind you find in the plastic containers in the grocery store. You know, the sugar cookies with the thick layer of frosting and sprinkles that always seem to show up around the holidays. But trust me, these are so much better! These are so flaky and rich, and the soft frosting on top is to die for. 

I also like that these cookies are quick to make. No rolling out or cutting into shapes, and no temperamental royal icing to deal with. And they are perfect for any holiday or party. Just change the color of the frosting and add sprinkles. I'm officially in love with these cookies!

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
Servings: ~2 dozen large cookies

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
5 tsp. vanilla extract

5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract*
7 tbsp. milk
Food coloring  (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

*Use imitation vanilla extract if you would like a pure white frosting. 

To prepare the cookies, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. 

With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix just until the dry ingredients are combined. Do not over mix. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°. Scoop a scant 1/4 cup of dough and roll into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet, and flatten slightly by pressing gently on the top. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are just set. Do not over bake (the cookies should still be white and not golden). Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

To prepare the frosting, sift the confectioners' sugar into a large bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk; whisking until well combined. Add additional milk, 1 tsp. at a time, if the frosting is too thick. If the frosting is too thin, add additional confectioners' sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Dye the frosting with food coloring, if desired. 

Frost the cooled cookies using an offset spatula or knife. Top with sprinkles, if desired. Store in an air-tight container. 

Source: Annie's Eats, originally from the Hostess with the Mostess

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